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Employees Direct $60,000 to Local Causes through 2K Your Way Program

Categories: Giving Back
[Image: Collage of 4 photos of employees with donation checks on blue, green and teal background.] Our 2K Your Way grant program invests in local organizations that are important to our employees. Learn more about this year’s grants.

What good could you do in your community with $2,000? That’s what we asked employees in early 2023 when we opened our 2K Your Way employee giving program for applications.

In response, they submitted more than 80 applications for the program during the first few months of the year.

By mid-year, Domtar’s ESG Committee had selected 30 projects representing 15 locations to receive 2K Your Way grants that supported one or more of our community investment focus areas: education, sustainability and humanitarian aid. Employees receiving the grants were also asked to complete a hands-on volunteer activity to support their chosen organization.

2K Your Way for Education

From funding literacy programs and providing materials to support STEM programs, to supporting educational filmmaking endeavors and enhancing libraries, more than 43 percent of the selected 2K Your Way projects were aligned within our education focus area.

The YMCA of Greater Kingsport received a grant through Ellie Southern, an HR generalist at our Kingsport Mill, to support STEM and robotics activities at the Brighter Horizons Youth Center.

“At the YMCA, we firmly believe that nurturing young talents and fostering a passion for learning is vital for building a brighter and more promising future for all,” shares the YMCA of Greater Kingsport on LinkedIn.  “With Domtar’s incredible backing and Ellie’s enduring commitment, we are empowered to do even more in achieving this vision.”

Noel & Noah Productions was another recipient of a 2K Your Way grant, this time requested by Ashleigh Gilliam, a benefits coordinator in Fort Mill, South Carolina. In addition to working at Domtar, Ashleigh is the founder of Noel & Noah Productions, which dedicated the funds to support the production of a web film series. “The Abbey Boys” tells the story of seven Black men who protested for change at Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina in April 1969.

Other education-focused projects included:

  • Adult literacy program support for Literacy DuPage in Illinois
  • Books and equipment for the Literacy Council in Ashdown, Arkansas
  • A library for Girls Incorporated in Hawesville, Kentucky, focused on books that encourage women and girls to be smart, bold and inspired
  • Stocking local classroom libraries with new books and supporting curriculum needs for multiple schools and organizations in Hawesville, Kentucky; Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania; and Nekoosa, Wisconsin
  • Providing raised-bed gardens, soil and seedlings to a local school in Marlboro County, South Carolina

2K Your Way for Sustainability Projects

We offered grants to five sustainability-focused projects.

Brian Kozlowski, director of environment and sustainability, directed his 2K Your Way grant to support the Interact/Cool 2 Be Kind Club at Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. The club used the funds to purchase, build and provide landscaping for a “Breather Bench” that serves as a place where students and community members can sit and catch their breath during stressful times.

Johnsonburg employee Lisa Shaffer partnered with the Ridgway Parks Revitalization Program and maximized Domtar’s local investment with her grant to support park revitalization efforts in the community. Revitalization efforts include clean-up and rebuilding days, and several Domtar employees have volunteered time with the program.

Other sustainability projects included developing a greenhouse for the Honey Hill Foundation in Kentucky, supporting communications about recycling guidance for the Elk County Recycling Center in Pennsylvania, and building animal enclosures to support wildlife rehabilitation at the Black Creek Wildlife Center in Marlboro County, South Carolina.

2K Your Way for Humanitarian Aid

Through humanitarian aid, we support organizations that provide basic human necessities and disaster relief. We funded 12 2K Your Way projects in this focus area.

Michel Paquette directed his grant to the Christian Vachon Foundation, an organization that supports children from vulnerable backgrounds in achieving educational success. Paquette led a cross-site team from the Windsor Mill and Montreal locations and applied the $2,000 to supplement their fundraising efforts, leading to more than $37,600 raised for the organization. The team participated in the 108-kilometer Lake Memphramagog Relay race in September.

RyzAb0ve Fitness received a grant through Jonathan Griswold, an employee in Fort Mill, to support fitness programs and events that inspire individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live a healthier lifestyle.

Other humanitarian aid grants and projects supported various needs at local organizations that provide food and housing support, including:

  • Jamesville Community Food Pantry (North Carolina)
  • Washington County Schools “Hunger Heroes” program in North Carolina
  • Community Kitchen of Bennettsville in South Carolina
  • Dans la rue, an organization that supports homeless youth in Montreal
  • Resilience Montreal
  • Junior Women’s Club of Rock Hill in South Carolina
  • MUM Food Pantry in West Carrollton, Ohio

And, this holiday season, the Fraternal Order of Police in Perry County, Indiana, will use the $2,000 received from Brian Greulich’s grant to support their holiday Cops with Kids event.

Our 2K Your Way grants are part of the millions of dollars and thousands of volunteer hours that Domtar, part of the Paper Excellence Group, has invested corporately over the past several years to support community programs and projects in the areas where we operate. By the end of 2023, Domtar will have invested more than $2 million to support nonprofit organizations, including major partnerships with First Book, Classroom Central, Camp Blue Skies and City of Hope.

“We’re proud to have a legacy of being a good neighbor in our local communities around North America and supporting deserving organizations,” says Jan Martin, director of communications and public affairs for Domtar. “And we’re proud to help our employees give to causes that are important to them through the 2K Your Way program.”